|"Aside from the slight dryness, it was a good Darjeeling. I'm hard-pressed to call it an Earl Grey, though. Earl Darj or Raj Grey, maybe?"|
To the nose, it smelled a shy bit different from the average Earl. Part of this could be the different type of base. The Darjeeling blend provided a spicy finish to the usual bold, citrus-sour bits. And while orange blossoms substituted cornflower for the aesthetic element, I'm sure they had something to do with the added tartness to the aroma. There were a lot of 'em too.
Brewing instructions were fairly standard for an Earl Grey - 205F (or boiling) water - but they called for 2 tsp per 1 cup of leaves. A cup - to them - equated to 200ml. Of course, being a simple American, I had to find a conversion chart. It equated to roughly 7 ounces. That didn't sound right. However, I split the difference and went with a tablespoon in 8oz, steeped for three minutes.
And now for the biggest surprise of all. It infused to a light brown infusion, but the steam wasn't the usual bergamot scent one would come to expect from an Earl Grey. Believe it or not, the Darjeeling base dominated; all spice and malt. There was a citrus presence there, but it was reserved. The taste was slightly astringent and sour on the forefront, settled into a malty middle, and ended with a spicy sparkle. (No, not like a certain vampire.) Aside from the slight dryness, it was a good Darjeeling. I'm hard-pressed to call it an Earl Grey, though. Earl Darj or Raj Grey, maybe? Anyway, I liked it.
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